Articles on Governance and Leadership in Purpose Driven Organisations.
Director Recruitment – The Habitat for Humanity Approach
No longer are board positions in not-for-profits simply given to a willing friend of the Board or CEO. Recruiting directors with the right values, skill, experience and commitment is one of the key responsibilities and most important undertakings of a board and is arguably even more important for not-for-profit (NFP) boards. Search and selection of directors with the right skills to contribute to the growth and development of Habitat for Humanity Australia (HFHA) is challenging as we operate in an increasingly complex environment with greater compliance burden and higher expectations of efficiency, accountability and transparency.
Directors at Work: A Practical Guide for Boards
Directors at Work: A Practical Guide for Boards by Geoffrey Kiel, Gavin Nicholson, Jennifer Ann Tunny and James Beck is a substantive reference manual for all types of board directors. Directors at Work is a generous text, both in size and in breadth of content. The 818-page book addresses a huge range of issues applicable to directors and offers a practical approach to each. Directors at Work is not the type of book you should attempt to read over a weekend (as I did), nor is it something you should scramble to speed read before your first board meeting.
How To Perform a Self-Health Check-up for NFPs
“How do we know that we are doing well?” “Do we really need to ask and pay someone else to say that we are a healthy organisation or an organisation in need of help?” “We did ask someone else before about whether we are performing well or not, and we realized that we knew all the answers when the outsider started to talk about the solutions we were searching for. We didn’t exactly know the questions though.
Committee vs Board – What is Your Role?
The governance structures of not-for-profit organisations in Australia have never been more under the microscope than at present. At the Commonwealth level, major reform is underway concerning the regulation of the NFP sector, initiated by the Productivity Commission Report 2010. Initially, the newly established national regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), will concentrate on our Charities, with a remit to remove complex regulations and onerous reporting burdens, to clarify the legal definition of charity and to provide greater transparency for funders and the public.
The Handbook of Nonprofit Governance – Book Review
The Handbook of Nonprofit Governance, published by the American organisation Boardsource, is designed as a one-stop resource on governance for leaders and leadership teams of non-profit organisations. This book explores the value of governance in non-profit organisations and addresses the crucial roles, relationships, structures and practices involved in their leadership. The book is targeted chiefly at new or inexperienced board members and those with an academic interest in non-profit governance. As a comprehensive overview of a range of governance roles and issues more experienced directors might also find it a useful reference to keep on hand.
Board Culture: Is Your Board a Learning Space?
The Victorian Government is currently looking at changing its laws around the composition of the governing bodies of universities, removing designated positions for staff and students, and ensuring that such representatives can only be appointed if they have ‘the necessary skills’. Many not-for-profit organisations have designated positions on their boards for members, volunteers or consumer representatives. Faced with increasing pressures to have highly skilled and professional boards, organisations may be tempted to follow the Victorian Government’s lead and abandon commitments to representation and inclusion.
Importance of Good Governance for CEOs
Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Boards enjoy a unique relationship, one that is built on key elements such as trust, professional integrity and honesty. The very survival of a CEO often comes down to their relationship with the Board. In this case study I will be emphasising five governance issues, governance learnings and possible governance tools and resources available to assist Boards and CEOs. In September 2008 the Board of an aged care organisation in far North Queensland, employing over 200 staff and one of the major employers in the town, determined that the relationship with the then CEO had deteriorated to the point where in their view termination was the only option.
Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards – Book Review
Richard T. Ingram’s Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards, Second Edition (2008) is a handy manual on the basics of board governance. The text is the first publication in the popular Governance Series produced by Board Source. The series is authored by a range of writers with experience in the non-profit sphere and is designed as a point of entry to non-profit boards and a range of topics that surround effective governance.
The Importance of Getting Your Agendas and Minutes Right
At a board meeting on 15 February 2001, the directors of James Hardie approved an announcement to the ASX about a corporate restructure. The restructure included the establishment of a foundation which would handle all asbestos-related claims against James Hardie. The next day, the announcement was released and it stated that the foundation would be “fully funded” to meet the claims. However, it later became apparent that the foundation was not fully funded.
Avoiding Unspoken Issues – Part 2
In the first article of this series I offered an ad hoc research sample from the Better Boards Conference which suggested that we may all have an elephant in the board room that we are not prepared to discuss, or may lack the tools to address. I also outlined some common themes of unspoken issues. In the second article in this series, I will discuss some general tactics for avoiding unspoken issues undermining board performance.